I’m a big fan of natural, homemade hair products, because I need to use a generous amount of conditioner and gel in my wild, unpredictable curls. I blended up this gel recently on a day when my hair was misbehaving, and I really like the way it helps to smooth my hair.
There are a few reasons that I’m motivated to make my hair care products at home, and not least of those is cost. A decent quality conditioner is expensive, and if you go through a large amount in a month like I do, it starts to add up. Another reason is environmental pollution. All of those plastic bottles of product end up somewhere, and more than likely when they leave my hands they’re contributing to part of the millions of tons of plastic trash that somehow ends up in oceans around the world every year.
Finally, the ingredients in some commercial products aren’t all that good for you. Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics database, has a list of virtually every hair care product on the market, along with a number grade for human safety. Each product on their list has a breakdown of the chemicals inside, and some of the ones in commercial hair gels include substances that can cause a whole lot of scary conditions that I won’t go into. And this ties in to my point about pollution, above, because when all of those toxins wash out of your hair, they find their way into streams and rivers where they can affect the habitats of marine animals and plants. Now you wouldn’t want to harm some sweet little fish with your Oh-So-Glow Super Shiny and Healthy Hair Dabbadoo product, would you? I didn’t think so!
On to today’s “recipe” for one hundred percent toxin-free flax gel. The only ingredients are flax seeds and water, although you could add a drop of your favorite essential oil to give it a nice fragrance. The gel is quite thin, so there’s no risk that it will leave your hair “crunchy,” but for a thicker gel, you can add an extra tablespoon of flax seeds.
Once the gel is made, it should be stored in the fridge, where it will last for up to two days – products that don’t contain preservatives expire fast! If you go to the trouble of making it, though, I can tell you that this gel leaves my hair soft and smooth.
Flax Seed Hair Gel
Makes about 1/2 cup of hair gel
2 tablespoons flax seeds
3/4 cup water
Grind the flax seeds into a fine powder in a spice grinder. Combine the flax seeds and water in a blender and let them sit for as little as 2 hours or as long as 12 hours.
Blend the seeds and water for a minute or two on high speed. Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl, and pour the mixture through the strainer, pushing it through with the back of a ladle.
Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes, to allow any small bits of flax seeds to sink to the bottom. Pour off the clear gel into a small, resealable container.
The gel lasts for up to two days in the refrigerator.